You Get What You Pay For

Months ago Woo decided to pull the lever and hire someone to redesign ooTunes' webpage. He was thrilled, thrilled, to find someone in India who would do it for under $200. Four months later he's singing a different tune. She is not a designer. Yesterday he was ready to punch his computer when he had to explain to her over and over again what a reflection is. We'd been working on this one page since before Christmas, and she finally got it yesterday. The bad news is: There's still one more page to go.
Woo: Moses, do you like dinosaurs? 
Moses: No. I mean yes. I like triceratops and rhinoceros. 

Me: What do you want to eat for your birthday, Mosey? 
Moses: Cookies! 
Me: For dinner. 
Moses: Um. Broccoli. And caramel and Lightening McQueen juice. And doughnuts and cinnamon rolls! 

Herbie (telling Moses how he'd gotten to check out the coveted monster truck book at the library): I snuck this book from S--. He picked it out, and when he turned around I took it. He couldn't find it so he picked out a book on dinosaurs. 
Me: Herbie that was dishonest! 
Herbie: No, I'm telling the truth! 
Me: No, what you did to S-- wasn't very nice. It was like stealing from him. 
Herbie: Um, I actually didn't take it from S--...  I just found it ... 

Ruby (reading The Boxcar Children aloud to herself, getting more and more excited and each word getting louder and louder) "It was an old boxcar! 'What a good house that will be!!'" She devoured that book in less than a day.

I remember there being something very appealing about a bunch of kids making it on their own and setting up house in an old boxcar when I was a kid too.

Me (getting frustrated at my current slow pace and making the mistake of looking at a bunch of top design blogs written by mormon women, while I lay on the couch): I don't want to make money. I'm not motivated by money, but I would like to create something ... be creative ... 
Woo: Chelsey, you are being creative! That meal you made last night?? Creative! 
Penelope got sick (for the first time?) this week. She slept a lot yesterday, and seemed mostly over it today. I left her in bed with Woo yesterday morning while I went to pick up Bountiful Baskets, and she was mostly happy when she thought she was alone. Whenever Woo would try to talk to her or sniff, she would cry and cry. She was (thankfully) less sensitive today.

Linus can help himself to anything he needs in the kitchen now, thanks to the bench and occasionally chairs. He'll get himself a clementine or apple off the counter whenever he wants one. He likes to run in and get his own dishes and silverware, as soon as he can tell I'm making food. And he's so excited to clear his plate after dinner like the other kids that he'll climb off the chair the instant his last bite is in his mouth and trot to the sink.

January's almost over! I'm kind of excited about that one. Hope you all had a good week.

Old Memory:
We drove to Wisconsin when I was six. I have two memories from that trip, and this is one of them. I remember standing in Grandma J-- and Grandpa W--'s driveway with Mom, who was holding L-- and talking to Grandma G--. Suddenly Grandma G-- sprang into action: her car was rolling backwards. She grabbed the open door, tripped on the curb, did a front flip, and lost hold of the car. The car picked up speed across the street, into the neighbors yard and disappeared over a hill.

J-- was in the front seat.

J-- ended up being ok, of course, but there was some (minor?) damage to the car. Grandma G-- hurt her wrist (I think?), and the neighbors across the street had their huge wood pile knocked over which Dad and J-- piled back up (I don't know how much help J-- was. He was probably 3).

I remember standing in the driveway again, this time Mom and Grandma G-- talking past each other. Mom was apologizing profusely for "your beautiful car, Grandma!" (I do remember her car being impeccable), and Grandma G-- was apologizing profusely for not being able to foresee that J-- would climb into the front seat and put it in neutral and that she later wasn't able to climb into the car and stop it.

I also remember going down the hill to see the tree that eventually stopped the car. It was right in front of a raging river. Just kidding. I think it was more of a trickling stream.


A Better Week

little boy sled ice skating rink instagram

We had a much better week. Everyone slept well, and we got lots of beautiful snow.

I ditched the flashcards with Moses, and he's made much more progress by my just reading Dr. Seuss' ABC to him once a day.

The flashcards just weren't working for us. I don't know if it's him or his age ... I'm not an early childhood education expert.

Moses had his first play date, just for him.

He yelled, "Yes! I want to see Thomas' house!" when his mom was talking to me on the phone. Which, of course, meant that Moses wanted to play with Thomas' toys. He didn't really care if Thomas was going to be there or not.

He talked about it constantly, mentioned it in every prayer, and picked out a winning outfit in the 22 hrs leading up to the appointment. We received a detailed account of all Thomas' cars and trucks afterwards. A success by all accounts.
Ruby: Mom, did you know that people really swim in the ocean?  
Me: Ruby, I've swum in the ocean.  
Ruby: You have?  
Mom, sometime can you take me to swim in the ocean?  
Me: Yeah. Sometime, Ruby, when you guys are all older.  
Ruby: Yeah, I know. You don't want us to be taken by pirates and stuff! 
Hmmm, hope the ocean doesn't end up being something of a disappointment ...

Linus has gotten even more affectionate with Penelope, if possible. He tries to hug and squeeze her all the time. I often find him either lying on top of her smothering her face with kisses or (most often) lying behind her soaking her hair and her forehead with his smooches.

little boy hugging baby girl instagram

If she's sitting in my lap, he'll also climb in my lap and wrap both arms around her head, his hands grasping her ear on the far side.

Sometimes if he's hurt and crying, he'll go to her for a hug and kiss to feel better instead of me. 

little boy hugging baby girl instagram

Penelope, for her part, has decided she's not that excited about Linus. She does a lot of whining when he gets near. But, she seems to be getting two more new teeth, so she's been doing a lot of whining anyway.

baby girl instagram

Herbie gets the award in our family for most improved reader of the year. He started kindergarten knowing most letters and sounds, he now reads a verse of scripture with us every night. He can hear himself say a whole bunch of disjointed sounds, and then suddenly know that the word is "abominable" or "prophecy."  We now have two copies of The Magic Finger and James and the Giant Peach, and I've heard him and Ruby read them together each trading off a paragraph.

Woo found himself being nostalgic for a lot of food he ate on his mission in Portugal. He sent a list of special ingredients with me to the store. I couldn't find many (any?), but he did find a blog with a recipe for the Portuguese version of Berliners, and I made them tonight.

woman with berliner jelly doughnut instagram bolo de berlim

He got up early Thursday and Friday to finish up emails and then go snowboarding. He was really sore Thursday, but couldn't bring himself to pass up another good snow day on Friday.

man with berliner jelly doughnut instagram bolo de berlim

I imagine he'll do the same thing tomorrow.

I started getting up before the kids to lift weights, and I finally finished the last coat of paint in the dining room. Nothing too exciting, but satisfying for me.


A Series of Unfortunate Events

If you think of life like a race, where most of the time you're moving along at a nice pace, sometimes sprinting, sometimes walking, etc., the last two weeks have been a repeating series of stumbling, trying to get back up to speed, tripping again, then getting back up only to be knocked right back over.

I blame school mostly.

My experience with kids adjusting to time changes in the past leads me to count the days until Thursday, where they generally peak and crash, making Friday fairly pleasant. But, this time Thursday came and went, and we still had Herbie getting up at 4:45am one morning, all kids yelling at each other at the top of their lungs at 5:30am another, and me getting up all by myself at 3:20am just for the apparent fun of it another.

I was the only one to get sick. Everyone else was just moody, highly irritable and loud.

Very loud.

We had a rough time of it many days, but I'm frequently reminded of how good we really have it, and I think we're out of the woods now *fingers crossed*.

Possibly the biggest disappointment was the friends party we threw for Ruby. She was so, so, so excited, as you can imagine, and only two kids showed up.

I could cry when I think about it.

Part of it is that I didn't realize that I'd planned it on a holiday weekend, and many people already had plans.

Part of it is that she'd invited mostly boys, and we did hear from the parent of one boy (who'd invited Ruby to his party just a few months ago) that he refused to go to a girl's party.

And part of it is just that we're pretty lame party throwers.

The party was saved (mostly) for Ruby when her teacher, Mrs. Combs, showed up for the last half hour.

kids and teachers instagram

Thank you, Mrs. Combs!

Remember when every rock was a treasure?
Herbie (pulling ordinary rock out of pocket): Do you remember this rock, Mom?
Me: No, I don't remember that rock.
Herbie: You don't? I showed it to you before! A long time ago.
Me: Hmmm ... 
Me (praying): Please bless Emma in her trials ...
Herbie (the instant the prayer is over): But Emma doesn't even have a trials bike, Mom! 
This week, I decided to spend a tiny bit of time each day going over the ABCs on flashcards with Moses. I just had to laugh, when after going over five random ones repeatedly, he could only reliably identify one letter, "W."

little boy suit tie instagram

A couple of days later I decided on a new approach: just 3 letters A, B and C. I would hold up a C, for example, and say, "Ok, Moses, this is an A or a B or a C. Which one is it?" "A?" "No, this is an A (show him the A). This is a B or a C." "B?" "No, this is a B (show him the B)." "Which one is this (returning to the C)?" "Ummmm ... A?"

He's so sweet and goofy, that I've mostly been laughing, but I won't pretend I wasn't relieved to have him read most of the numbers off the microwave unbidden yesterday. I guess he's a numbers man? 

little boy snowboarding instagram

Someone dropped off a bag of clothes Moses' size yesterday. He was in heaven. One of the best "treasures" was an old pair of footy pajamas with the feet cut off. He thinks that part is pretty awesome. Plus, they're Buzz Lightyear pajamas.

He was already in jammies and headed to bed when he remembered them last night, and we wouldn't let him go downstairs for them. Very first thing he did this morning? Ran downstairs for the pajamas and put them on his bed.

How many times today did he ask us if it was time to put on jamas? Too many. He took a good long look at himself in the mirror, once he finally got to put them on, pretty pleased with himself.

Linus can say a handful of words, but if you were to record him throughout a day, you would probably only hear 3: "Mom!", is said anytime anything exciting happens, anytime he needs something, anytime he does something he's proud of, anytime he's stuck, etc. He says "No!" a lot, of course, and he also says, "Nah!" which is his "yes." Oh, and occasionally a loud, "DAD'N!" whenever Woo emerges from his office.

little boy suit tie instagram

Penelope's had a big week. She turned six months, started solids and got 2 teeth. There seems to be something about teething that just makes you want to have your hand held. She was grouchy on the floor or in a chair, but perfectly happy sitting in my lap.

baby girl eating solids instagram

Penelope is also the first kid I remember to eat a full meal of solids the very first time I fed her. Usually they seem to just squish it out of their mouth the first few times, but she gobbled that stuff right up.

The gym in the valley went out of business (When I looked at pictures of it online, it wasn't any mystery as to why), so I got myself a weight set.

On one hand I'm wondering why on earth I didn't get one sooner. I could've been lifting weights the last 5.5 years!

On the other, I remember that I didn't want to move them half way across the country.

Woo has started to think that he should be thinking about looking for the next thing. Unfortunately (fortunately?) there's no pressing need for action, so he's mostly just been talking about thinking about thinking about it.


Some Christmas Pics

1. Newest SWAT Team member: Ruby
2. Family Photo
3. Kids eating veggies and dip
4. Linus and mutant carrot
5. Gathering around the heater
6. Penelope --- still a baby
7. Photo that proved to Woo that boxes and junk don't make a good backdrop

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!